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Quenneville named a Team Canada coach for 2016 World Cup

by NHL Media / Chicago Blackhawks

Mike Babcock was named coach of Team Canada for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey on Thursday.

Hockey Canada made the announcement at MasterCard Centre in Toronto.

Babcock's assistant coaches will be Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien, Carolina Hurricanes coach Bill Peters and Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz.

"We're happy to have Mike lead our World Cup team next September," Team Canada general manager Doug Armstrong said. "His successes in creating a winning culture in a two-week tournament is well-documented. We are looking forward to representing Canada and making our country proud."

Babcock, 52, is in his first season as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs but has extensive experience with Hockey Canada at international events. He coached Canada to gold medals at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and 2014 Sochi Olympics. He also won the Stanley Cup as coach of the Detroit Red Wings in 2008 and a gold medal as coach of Canada at the 2004 IIHF World Championship. He's the only coach to earn a spot in the IIHF Triple Gold Club. He also coached Canada to a gold medal at the 1997 IIHF World Junior Championship.

"It's a huge honor to be given this opportunity to represent Canada again," Babcock said. "Whether it was '97 at the World Juniors, '04 at the Worlds or the last two Olympics in '10 and '14, you feel very blessed and honored to represent your country. I'm thrilled that Doug Armstrong and Tom Renney [Hockey Canada president/CEO] have given me this opportunity. I also want to thank the coaching staff, Joel Quenneville, Claude Julien, Barry Trotz and Bill Peters, for giving up their time and helping us pursue success at the World Cup."

New York Islanders center John Tavares, a candidate to be on the team, has experience playing for Babcock from Sochi.

"Mike was great to me. For me, I was playing more of a depth role and the conversations we had, whether it was about my game and making mistakes or making good plays and playing the way they needed me to play, was all very good and the message was able to give me a lot of confidence," Tavares said Thursday.

"It certainly was a situation that I hadn't played in very much, playing a different role, obviously still playing with so many great players, but your minutes are different and things like that. His ability to manage them and communicate to you just about your game and contributing your role to the team really helped me find what I needed to do to help that team. Certainly he has proven why he's a great coach and why it's well deserved."

Quenneville has coached the Blackhawks to Stanley Cup championships in 2010, 2013 and 2015. Julien, who was an assistant coach on Babcock's staff at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, led the Boston Bruins to the 2011 Stanley Cup and back to the Cup Final in 2013. Trotz is in his second season with the Capitals; he helped Canada win a gold medal as an assistant coach at the 2003 World Championship. Peters, who spent three seasons as an assistant coach with the Red Wings under Babcock, won a gold medal with Canada at the 2015 World Championship as an assistant coach.

"Canada has a reputation for producing great hockey players," Renney said. "Along the way it takes great coaches to develop those hockey players. We were fortunate to have a depth of talent to choose from, and the resumes of these five successful coaches speak for themselves."

The 17-day World Cup of Hockey will take place at Air Canada Centre in Toronto from Sept. 17 through Oct. 1. All games will be televised on ESPN in the United States and Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada.

Team Canada will be in Group A, along with Team USA, Team Czech Republic and Team Europe, comprised of the top players from countries outside the four European countries already competing in the tournament (Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden and Russia). Group B will consist of Team Russia, Team Finland, Team Sweden and Team North America, comprised of the top North American players who will be 23-years-old or younger as of Oct. 1, 2016.

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